The speech below as delivered by Grady Robson, Privett '19 at the Lifer's Dinner in early June.
Well, our sentence is almost up. Whether it be four years, or in some cases five years, our time here is up. I regret to say that it is, but this dinner isn’t a time of regret or to be sad about what’s to come. It’s a time for us to come together as those few who made it through these past four or five years to be happy, and to remember our time at Brentwood.
I got a message back in March from Mr Neufeld asking who was left from our Grade 9 year in Privett House. Only two have managed to remain, me and Blake. The two of us agreed that it had to have been bad luck, citing among many reasons that it was the year of Danny Hill, our House Captain in Grade 9. It didn’t matter why it was he who was bad luck, it only seemed logical that the two of us would pinpoint Danny as the reason for premature departures.
After surviving our year of the Grade 8 program, Grade 9 was a refreshing new start. We had infiltrated the “actual” Brentwood. We the Grade 8s who Mr. Patel openly joked that he despised. That stayed in my mind all these years, especially at the beginning of this year, when Mr Patel’s life rested in my hands as he made his way up the climbing wall - and I was his belayer. There could’ve been an “accident” if I wasn’t careful. So anyways, being a small fish in a big pond gave the new Grade 9s a sense of hope and anxiety.
Blake and my most vivid memories come from that first day of Orientation. The memory that Blake has cherished from that day was “The moment I drove into campus and was handed a laminated slip of paper with the words “Privett House” boldly printed on it in blue. I was excited but had no idea that the next four years of my life were going to be some of the best and most life changing.” I too remember the day as full of excitement, getting into the spirit from the experienced boys who had already been there for one, two, or three years beforehand.
At the bottom of the food chain, we quickly learned how to adapt in our environment, getting to know the ins and outs of life in Privett. From Grade 9 until this year, we have met boys from many different backgrounds, and have become close with all who have come and gone through the halls of Privett House, whether it be housemates or faculty. Something that both of us, and all the former boys who have passed through Privett, have incorporated into our own values are the core values of the house, that have been engraved into our minds since day 1: Pride, Brotherhood and Trust.
These values are what Privett House is built upon. Pride is seen through things like daily and number 1 inspections, house jobs, our competitive spirit in interhouse events and challenges, to how a Privetteer acts and conducts himself in the Brentwood community. Trust is what we feel when we know that the work will get done in the house, and at the end of the day, that there will always be somebody there to support us when times are tough, and to celebrate with us when times are good. Lastly, Brotherhood is arguably the most important value that we have in Privett House.
Brotherhood is the accumulation of the pride that we have in the house, and the trust that is collectively felt between all of the housemates. Brotherhood is a very special feeling, and will be a feeling that we will continue to remember long after we have left Privett and the Brentwood campus. Being a part of something for all these years is such a strange feeling for anybody who has experienced it, and being a part of Brentwood and Privett is no different.
Being a part of Privett has left a profound effect on both Blake and me. Blake reflected as we were discussing the experiences that we had in Privett and Brentwood. He said that “My experiences at this school have meant the world to me. I can’t imagine myself enjoying anything as much as I have enjoyed the last five years on this campus, and inside the walls of Privett.” I personally can’t believe how fast five years has passed at Brentwood and in Privett House. I am very excited for what awaits me in my future, but I will always know that I can look back fondly to my past experiences here at Brentwood, and to all the people that have supported me during this amazing journey. I’d like to thank the faculty who go above and beyond to support me and any other student here at the school.
My advisors have each individually brought a unique perspective to the world around me. The boys of Privett House have left lasting impressions. Mrs Wolinsky, although new to Privett this year, has done a pretty damn good job keeping the house in order. I’m sorry, Hope House, that we took her from you, and I’m sorry that you won’t be getting her back anytime soon. She’s a keeper.
And lastly to the big man himself, Mr Neufeld. I know that this isn’t your first rodeo, but you treat all us Privetteers like we’re one of your own, and for that, Blake and I are extremely thankful that you are in our lives.
Thank you also to the school for all the opportunities that it has provided that we, as a Grad class, have received. Congratulations to all of us, the Grad class, for making it through our sentences. Thank you very much.
Grady Robson, Privett ‘19